I noticed I haven't written in over a month. So I thought I'd write a short note. Happy 2016! I have many wishes for 2016 but I don't think we'll get it. I'd hope for a less angry, less violent, and more tolerant America.
Many people say the American Dream is dead. Maybe that's true. But maybe the problem is Americans with the values of America are dead.
Look at the anger out there. But it's also the hypocrisy. When women, black people, gays, etc, express their anger they are met with intolerance. Yet, now we have a group of white people taking over a bird refuge in a rural eastern Oregon county -- a group of armed people -- met with no resistance. They spout the tired diatribe against an overreaching federal government.
They have a lot of sympathy from the Fox News crowd. But I ask you to do a little thought experiment. What if they weren't angry white ranchers with guns?
What if they were angry black people with guns? We live in a society where police (or civilians even) can shoot and kill teenage black boys (not quite men) for appearing to be carrying guns. Where school police can violently pin a teenage black girl to the ground for refusing to put away her cell phone. Where the mentally ill are shot and killed for throwing rocks.
Yet, these men go around open carrying weapons and no one bats an eyelash? As near as I can figure there are several differences.
One. Race, of course. We are not post racial. Maybe we are nearing post racial. Or maybe we are in the death throes of racial. It is dying hard. And it is fighting back.
Two. Federal vs local law enforcement reaction. Perhaps it is because the federal government feels keenly this sense that it is hated. That it is distrusted. Maybe they remember what happened after Waco and Ruby Ridge, after Elian, et al, and they want to tread lightly.
Whatever, these people that go on about an imperial or fascist Obama administration need to look at this. If it really were, wouldn't more people be "disappeared" as happened in many Latin American dictatorships? Or "purged" as in Stalinist Russia? Oh, and how about that "they're going to take our guns away?" crap? I'm still waiting... I've been waiting since the Clinton Administration. All that has happened is more crazy white people are stockpiling more guns than most Army posts have.
Three. This is the rural West as opposed to the inner city. People are used to seeing people with guns out here. Also, you run across a lot of really crazy people out here in the wilderness. They only get crazier in Alaska, I think. Sometimes I think we need to have a special state or territory for these people. Where they can be allowed to roam and make their own rules and, well, let evolution take its course. Keep them away from polite society.
Recently the Mormon Church had to distance themselves from these people. Why? Well, Cliven Bundy must be Mormon for one. His son's name is Ammon. If he's not Mormon, he read the Book. Second, Mormons have always had a strong anti-government, self-reliance, libertarian streak. (I mean if the federal government hounded you out of your homes and killed your President and Prophet? What would you think?)
Mormons like to say they respect the laws of the land. The leadership of the Church has to say that. And I think most Mormons do. The professional class of the Church. But the others are still living in the 18th Century.
Does anyone read my blog? Does anyone have any thoughts? Comment! Let me know you're out there.